COMBAT COVID-19: Recalibrate

Published: 30 March 2020

RECALIBRATE – Definition: To create a new or different standard scale of readings.
Every now and then you have to recalibrate. If you’ve had a scale for a period of time, or even when it gets a really hard knock, you have to recalibrate the new 0 by putting on a known weight and adjusting it accordingly.

“There is no challenge more challenging than the challenge to improve yourself.” (Author unknown)

Having been downgraded to below investment grade and seeing the impact with the rand on its highest it has ever been, we have entered turbulent times with a steep climb waiting on everyone. What is clear at the moment is that nothing is textbook, instead the discontinuity and different success metrics have resulted in an altered reality. Through recalibrating our reality, it provides purpose and clarity which by itself will not guarantee success, but it will channel energy and focus. We have entered recalibration mode.

Recalibration requires deliberate analysis of macro and micro factors, reflected in the business and markets, and should be carefully considered in this process. Consider these steps:


The point of maximum results with minimum effort. With the changes in the economic landscape, the balances of scale will probably shift, and it is important to determine which strategic, product or operational initiatives have retained their foundation for optimisation, and which new opportunities have since developed. In the world of Simon Sinek, this would be referred to as “Finding your (new) Why”.


In every business you have ‘holy assumptions’. Those shared understandings of products, target markets, processes or systems that often remains unchallenged. The concept of ‘Questioning everything’ is often one of the most difficult steps for any business to embrace and the most critical step of recalibration: ‘Do we actually know what we think we know’? The phrase of ‘leave no stone unturned’ is very true for this step and it is getting each of the business areas to treat the business as a brand-new entity. If this was a new business / startup, how would we do this? This is understanding whether the current ‘What’s’ and ‘How’s’ of your business is still relevant and form truly a part of the new ‘Why’.


Needing to understand risk predisposes us to compulsively wanting to predict the future. But what if there is just not enough data points to provide that level of intelligence? Uncertainty makes precision virtually impossible and creates the need for strategy. Having a clear strategy with an execution plan that is agile and can be changed instantaneously, is the only way to stay ahead. In the words of Michael Ryan (World Health Organisation) “Perfection is the enemy of good. Speed trumps perfection.” Every time. Then test with small-scale experiments (and fail), or/and find new and creative ways to launch large scale projects or products ahead of everyone else.

The only certain thing in this very uncertain time is that once all of this is over, nothing will be the same. The new normal. The biggest change is changing your thinking. So, invest in you. Recalibrate your mind to find new pathways to success.

Written By Erin Louw, Retail Capital Chief Brand Officer.